Ernst & Young Announces 19 Finalists for the Tenth Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2008

Awards receive an overwhelming response with over 291 Nominations

Gurgoan, India, November 12, 2008 --( Nineteen of India’s successful entrepreneurs, who have displayed an inspiring vision, unabated zeal and passion to make a difference, have been selected as ‘Finalists’ for the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The year 2008 marks the 10th year of this very unique program in India, which has celebrated the emergence of many leading entrepreneurs over the last decade. This year, the awards will be announced on November 26th in Mumbai in the presence of leading global and business personalities, including Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, Hon’ble speaker of Lok Sabha, as the Chief Guest.

A six-member jury comprising eminent personalities, chaired by Mr. KV Kamath, Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Bank, selected the finalists from over 291 nominations received this year, the highest since the Awards were launched in 1999, which further proves that with each passing year the award continues to scale new heights.

The finalists for 2008 are listed below (alphabetically):
Anil Agarwal, Vedanta Resources Plc, A.M. Naik, Larsen & Toubro, Arvind Rao, Onmobile Global, Gautam Thapar, Avantha Group, G. Bala Reddy, ICSA India, I. Syam Prasad Reddy, Indu Projects, Jaiprakash Gaur, Jaypee Group, Mavila Vishwanathan Nair, Union Bank Of India, Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems, M. M. Murugappan, Carborundum Universal, P. Namperumalsamy, Aravind Eye Care System, P R S Oberoi, EIH, Ram Chandra Agarwal, Vishal Retail, Rohinton Screwvala, UTV Software Communications, R. S Butola, ONGC Videsh, Sanjay Nayak, Tejas Networks, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Hitesh Oberoi, Info Edge (India), Shantanu Prakash, Educomp Solutions, Venugopal Nandlal Dhoot, Videocon Industries

“I am extremely proud to be associated with Ernst & Young’s initiative to honour entrepreneurial excellence in India. There were several outstanding nominations this year and the finalists were selected looking at various parameters such as combining ambition with pragmatism and goal orientation with adaptability. While the finalists come from diverse sectors, they were united in their desire to achieve beyond the ordinary. Each one of them has made discernable contributions to the economy by creating value and opportunity at large.” says Mr. KV Kamath, Managing Director & CEO, ICICI Bank, who chaired the jury for the awards.

Other jury members include Mr. Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India, Ms. Shobhana Bhartia, Vice Chairperson & Editorial Director, HT Media, Mr. Manish Kejriwal Senior Managing Director Investment - India & Russia, Temasek Holdings Advisors India, Mr. R Seshasayee, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland and Tarun Das, Chief Mentor, CII.

Says Mr. Rajiv Memani, Country Managing Partner, Ernst & Young, “The Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has provided us an opportunity to get a very close view as also learn from the entrepreneurial journeys of some of India’s finest business leaders. The distinctive feature of Indian entrepreneurs today is the confidence and speed with which they are moving ahead in the local and international markets. Notably, for many of them, their achievements go beyond running a profitable business to also impacting the society at large and thereby creating more inclusive growth for India.”

The winner of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award will represent India at the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards (WEOY) in Monte Carlo, Monaco in May, 2009. Recipients of the Entrepreneur Of The Year award become lifetime members of the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Hall of Fame.

About the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award
Ernst & Young first designed and produced the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in the United States in 1986, to honour the perseverance and ingenuity of those brilliant entrepreneurs, who have created and sustained successful business ventures. Ernst & Young India launched the Programme in 1999, making it the first country in the firm’s Asia-Pacific region to introduce this initiative.

Past recipients of the EOY awards include B Ramalinga Raju (Satyam), Tulsi Tanti (Suzlon), Kumar Mangalam Birla (Aditya Birla Group), Sunil Bharti Mittal (Bharti Enterprises), Ratan Naval Tata (Tata Group), N R Narayana Murthy (Infosys), Brijmohan Lall Munjal (Hero Group), Mukesh D Ambani (Reliance), Tulsi Tanti (Suzlon Energy Ltd.), Wayne Huizenga, (Huizenga Holdings), Jeff Bezos (, Michael Dell (Dell Computers), Howard Schultz (Starbucks Coffee), Jerry Yang (Yahoo), Scot Kriens (Juniper Networks) and Tony Tan Caktiong (Jollibee Foods)

About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 135,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.
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Atipriya Sarawat
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Ernst & Young India Pvt. Ltd.
Atipriya Sarawat